Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tobermory, Canada

Tobermory is a little town that sits on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. It is about 15 miles from our campsite at Miller Lake, Canada. Pam and I decided to go check it out and play tourist for a while.

Some history:
Europeans began living on the peninsula in the mid-1800's. The area was wooded and very rocky and therefore not good location for agricultural development. It had very good fishing and forest lands which settlers liked. The land at that time was known as the 'Indian or Saugeen Peninsula'.

In 1881 the first sawmill appeared on the peninsula in Tobermory. In less than 20 years most of the good timber was harvested. Rapid logging and huge piles of waster from land clearances enabled intense forest fires to sweep the peninsula. By the mid 1920's, the beautiful growth of forests on the peninsula was nearly depleted.

The lamprey eel was introduced to the Great Lakes in 1932 and it devastated the fish supply in the region. The peninsula became less attractive to settlers and many left. The populaton in the area continued to decline until the 1970's when the cottager arrived. Today, seasonal residents outnumber permanent residents.

In our campground (Summer House Park Campground), seasonal residents make up 70% of the populaton.

On the way to Tobermory, we stopped at the Bruce Peninsula Visitor Center along the Bruce Trail. It opened in 1967 and is Ontario's most popular hiking trail. It reminds me of the Appalachian Trail since it is very popular and quite long (780 kilometers). It extends from the Niagra Falls to Tobermory. Once in Tobermory, we checked out the ferry in Tobermory: the MS Chee-Chemaun Ferry.
It must have been busy that day because the first guy in line for the next one said he had been waiting about 5 hours. We walked around the dock a while and waited for Adam and Meghan to arrive.

They joined us down near the water and saw some ducks weaving in and around the boats. We walked around the dock and looked at the people and the interesting vessels. One futuristic looking yacht caught our attention. We passed for some coffee at the Coffee Shop overlooking the harbor and enjoyed some time watching boats and people.
The ferry finally returned and we caught some shots of it as it arrived and unloaded.
It was quite big. We were quick to note one of the first vehicles off was a pair of Class C motorhomes. If we were to use the ferry with the Roadrunner, we figured it would cost upwards of $200. Yikes! Instead it was better for us to watch the proceedings from a distance and enjoy our coffee.

It was a nice day to be walking around Tobermory and we enjoyed it. It reminded me a little bit of Sausalito. --- OK, well not exactly but it is a nice tourist town and it was a beautiful day.

We'll be here for a few more days enjoying the cooler than normal early August weather on the Bruce Peninsula. Thanks for checking out the Roadrunner Chronicles!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Randy, great blog! Thanks for the great pics and the history lesson of the area. Tobermory looks like a great little town to visit.